It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

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I spend a lot of time trying to find silver linings in situations. It’s the biggest task of an optimist. You are constantly struggling for something to hold onto. Something that makes the pain seem less and the hurt go away. Something that will drag you out of the darkness when you need it. The problem with that is, sometimes you need the darkness.

As human beings, we go through so much, so often that chaos is almost second nature. How else could you feel happy and sad at the same time? Or go through a range of emotions that can include: frustration, bliss, anger and heart wrenching pain in the same day? Right now, I’m 3 months into a separation- the end to a 14 year relationship. I’m working all of the emotions involved with this and I just can’t seem to find a calm place. I wish someone would write a manual on how to do this right.

On one hand, you need time to mourn a relationship, especially one that lasted almost half of your life. On the other hand, I want to just be done with it. At 3 months, I feel like I should be done. Done worrying about it and be free from the habits that brought me sadness, anger and frustration to begin with. At what point can you just shut it off?

On the bright side (see, I told you this is always where my brain goes), I do have the ability to make my own happiness. In fact, I recently realized that I am worth happiness. I am also worthy of success and love that knocks you off your feet.  Even with this internal shift, I keep going back to moments of darkness. Thankfully, these moments get less every day. They lessen when I spend time laughing with friends, meeting clients, cuddling my little girls, running and meditating. These things that make me happy and bring me back to my core. The things that get me though my day.

It almost feels like a separation is a damned if you do; damned if you don’t situation. If you talk about it too much, you sound like you aren’t moving on fast enough. If you don’t talk about it enough, it sounds like you aren’t dealing with well. There are so many expectations on how a person is supposed to deal with this.  At 3 months, am I still able to ask for support and get it? Is talking about it a sign of weakness? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

When I talk about darkness, I don’t mean a place where I am going to hurt myself or anyone else. No, not that kind of darkness. The darkness I mean is the point of mourning. The point of realizing that I allowed this unhappy relationship to go on for so long. That I allowed myself to be talked to in that way. That I allowed myself to be treated in that way. That I allowed my kids to see it. None of this takes me to a happy place.

Yes, I will rise from this. Yes, I will make better decisions going forward and come out on top. Yes, I will show my daughters that they can persevere and overcome any obstacles in their life. But, for right now, in this moment, I will clutch a crystal in my hand and meditate into this darkness. I know it won’t be here long.

  • Kyla Feschuk

    Well, 3 months … yes you must have conflicting feelings. It hurts. Your post is well written & I feel I can relate.

    (I am going on 3 years and have so much anger and still allow him to hurt me. Instead of being a caring father he has joined 2 bands, plays video games, grew his hair long, goes to the gym now & yes, lives in his parents basement. Absolutely no responsibility & interest in the children. I need to learn to let it go. Just can’t – esp when he lies & brags on social media about how great of a father he is .)

    We should meet up for a drink to chat one day soon. You have 2 incredibly beautiful daughters. You are blessed.

    Kyla

  • Natalie

    I agree with Kyla…you are blessed. I know where you are coming from and there are many of us who would be happy to be part of your circle. Stay strong…and when you can’t, ask for help.

  • Tara S

    Yes you will rise from this! I love you and you are amazing!

  • Jennifer Kenendy

    Jen it doesn’t matter if it has been 3 days, 3 months or 3 years; you can always ask your friends for support.  I have been going through mine for 7 years and still rely on my besties to get me through the darkness.  

    So often our society equates vulnerability with weakness, but it isn’t.  In order to connect we need to be vulnerable.  In order to be fulfilled we need to connect.  When we label vulnerability as weakness it limits our ability to connect when in fact being vulnerable is the exact opposite.  It takes so much strength to be open and honest about our hardships and not just put a smile on your face.  Don’t worry about other peoples judgement on your ability to heal or coup.  If you are having a ‘3 out of 10′ day let your friends support you.  That is what we are hear for and that is what YOU do for us again and again.  

    There is a Brene Brown TED on Vulnerability (watch it first) and another on Shame. Highly recommend you watch them as they provided me with incredible insight.  

    Love you Jen.  You’re amazing just the way you are.  

    • Jennifer Kenendy

      FYI this is me being vulnerable showing you what a terrible speller I am ;-)

  • MKZ

    Mourning is normal. Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect you to be over something as quick as or take as long as someone else. Positivity is great, realizing there was a good reason for doing this may help. When one door closes a window opens, the sun will be shining then a bit of rain, but the flowers will bloom … Without rain no rainbows!